Support Surges For Firefighters Following Terrorist Attacks

Students at Anniston Elementary got a special treat during lunchtime Thursday, a visit from Gulfport Firefighters. The talk focused on the tragedies in New York and Washington.

One firefighter asked the students what they thought when the airplanes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Third Grader Avery Simpkins say she thinks it's very sad, and she's glad many people got out safe. She says when they were coming out, the firemen were coming in, and they protected all those people's lives. Avery pointed out that more than 200 firemen died rescuing those people.

Firefighters say Americans know the sacrifices made by their brothers in New York and D.C. Since then, there's been an outpouring of appreciation for firefighters everywhere. Firefighter Tom Regan says parents are baking cookies, making cakes and bringing them by the station, and letting them know how they feel.

Wade Beesley says people are cooking them dinner and other meals, people on the street are blowing their horns to say "hello". He says things are different right now.

Six-year old Cole Hardy didn't use words to express his sentiments. He walked up to one firefighter, and gave him a hug. Tom Regan says with some of the kids, you can tell their parents have sat down and explained what's been going on. He thinks Cole was one of them, and he just wanted to show some love, so it was nice.

Jimmy Ward says it makes them feel good to be appreciated and looked up to.  He says in the past, some things go unnoticed until it's too late. Avery Simpkins says she thinks firefighters really want to protect people, and she never realized that until now. In her eyes, they are true heroes.

Many firefighters say they have signed up to go to New York to help their fellow firefighters with the relief and recovery efforts going on right now.  Several Coast fire departments are on stand-by, in case they are called on to help out.

By:  Trang Pham-Bui